The pause . . .

Vol.4, No.40 – October 6, 2019

“Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” –Revelation 7:13-14

There is a pause . . . an interlude. It is the calm before the storm breaks out in chapter 8. The entire world held in abeyance (a state of temporary disuse or suspension) by the all-powerful (omnipotent), Living God, waits.

A pointed and significant crowd of 144,000, gathered in Heaven, receives extraordinary care. Who are these?

  • The Seventh-Day Adventists say, “We are! We keep the Law and it’s Sabbath
  • The Jehovah’s Witnesses claim they are the “Overcomers,” and they are striving by good works, to be a part of the select 144,000
  • Theologians/denominations/preachers identify the 144,000 as the “12×12“—the “true” church
  • Some identify the 144,000 as the church that is Israel of the age – it is a position, a spiritual one, they say

What would happen if we simply accepted chapter seven at face value? God is not done with the Jew, with Israel.

Inside the Jewish universal heart is that presentment that God has some greater and better thing for their people. I must not deny to Israel the blessings as well as the curses –unknown author

God has a plan, a program, His outcome, a purpose for Israel; in God’s time coming to pass. The gathering of the 144,000 Jews is indicative of such a plan; not fully revealed in chapter seven, it is never-the-less grounds for our contemplation.

In verse 9, there is another company of people. After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches . . .

Who are these “blood-bought multitudes?” This is the throngs, redeemed. This is not Israel, nor is it the Church. These must be Gentile converts brought to the Messiah as the outcome of Israel’s restoration (becoming God’s missionaries and evangelists). Finally, thousands get it. They become obedient to the expectations of God (2 Corinthians 5:17f depicts the expectation of every believer, not according to denomination or Jewishness or even one who is a Gentile.

This huge band of believers stand before the throne of the Lamb. They join in the midst of angels to be a part of an awe-inspiring worship service. What makes their worship awe-inspiring? They worship God, because from out of the wrath and judgments God brings to the Great Tribulation, they come through martyrship. They worship because of who God is, not who they are. God’s strength made perfect in their weakness.

What about us? How is the reality of our worship? To whom is our worship directed? On the other hand, do we just come to church to follow a bulletin, be entertained, and then hopefully, only have to endure a 20-minute speech?

Revelation is not simply a book of the end times. The book is a challenge. The Great Tribulation believers have greater suffering that we could imagine. Surely, their prayers were many and specific. I wonder if they ended their requests to Almighty God with “But if not . . . I will still trust You and love You.”

Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen! –Revelation 7:12

Worthy are you, our Lord and God! Revelation 4:11

He, who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches! Revelation 2:7

Behold, Jesus is coming soon Revelation 22:6

Life Application

How is our praying? Do they praise Almighty God? Do they belong before the throne? In spite of all that befalls us? But, if not . . . will you still trust God, still love Him?

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

October 6, 2019

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